HARVARD MANAGEMENT COMMUNICATION LETTER

Why the Best Presentations Are Good Conversations

You don't like to be talked at, and neither does your audience. So engage listeners in a dialogue. Here's how.

by Roly Grimshaw

Roly Grimshaw is the director of The Kingstree Group, a London-based communications consultancy. He can be reached at hmcl@hbsp.harvard.edu.

A partner in a private equity firm was recently lamenting the irritating parade of applicants who made a pitch for an auditing contract with his firm. During the first presentation, he complained, the auditor droned on and on, piling on information the partner already knew or found irrelevant. During the second presentation, the team making a pitch showed up with entertaining slides and videos, ...

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